In Memoriam: Mary Cullinan

EWU learned of the passing of Dr. Mary Cullinan in spring 2021. She served as the university’s 26th president 2014-2020. Please join the university in respecting the family’s wishes for privacy at this time.

A remembrance by Interim President David May was shared with the campus community May 7, 2021:

Campus Community,

Our community was saddened upon hearing of the passing of former Eastern Washington University President, Dr. Mary Cullinan and many of us are still processing these emotions. I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Cullinan in many and varied capacities during her time leading Eastern, and as a leader within the larger region.

As the first [permanent] female president in the history of the university, Dr. Cullinan worked to empower and elevate women around her through leadership opportunities and mentorship. She tirelessly championed student success through scholarships, the advising center, curriculum reform, and the new interdisciplinary science center. Her advocacy behind Eastern becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, the Lucy Covington initiative, and the Prairie Restoration Project will have lasting impacts for the university, our students, and the region.

In Spokane, Dr. Cullinan’s vision led the way on Eastern’s partnership with McKinstry and Avista to create the Catalyst building, a transformative moment for Spokane and for Eastern’s leadership in business and industry. She accomplished much in her time here, both on and off campus, and I am personally and deeply saddened by this news.

To everyone who worked with Dr. Cullinan in her long tenure in higher education across the west and to those who knew her as a colleague or as a friend, I want to extend my deepest sympathies for your loss.

David May
Interim President

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